“Buy Her a Beer, That’s the Reason You’re Here…”

Maybe some of you remember this Coors Light commercial from some years back (click through to watch the video if you’re in a feed). The brief-but-brilliant ditty immortalized the mighty wingman, who is defined by the very official Wikipedia as “a role that a person may take when a friend needs support with approaching potential partners.” My personal favorite of all wingmen is Ted Mosby of How I Met Your Mother fame, though the critical role was perhaps first embraced by pop culture after Swingers, the original wingman flick.

It’s true that a wingman is usually around to help a guy get lucky. But if you’re serious about picking up friends, a wingman—or wingwoman—is an indispensable accessory.

When Matt and I got married, I expected he would be my most intimate companion, my biggest supporter, the someday father of my kids. I didn’t anticipate he’d double as an amazing go-to wingman of the friend-search variety.

What do the responsibilities of a seeking-BFF wingman include? In Matt’s case, the job entails scoping out potential friends in restaurants and departments stores, agreeing to go on unlimited couple-dates (even when the game is on and  the male half of the couple isn’t his type), and encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and ask a potential BFF for her number no matter how crazy she might take me to be.

Out-of-town guests also make for great wingpeople. (That sounds like some sort of villainous species from Wizard of Oz. Wingpeople. Huh.) Being with an old pal when you’re trying to pick up new friends is helpful for multiple reasons; mostly, the BFF target will see that you’re out with someone (meaning, you do have some friends) which seems to warm people to friendship advances. You’re not a creepy lurker preying on friendly bartenders/boutique owners/yoga instructors to find someone to chop into pieces. Instead you’re a nice, bold woman who’s always looking to add to her circle of friends. Old pals will also give you that extra nudge when you’re teetering on the edge of talking to the girl with the great purse. And if you’re too shy, the tried-and-true just-in-town-for-the-weekend friend might approach the potential BFF for you: “Have you met Rachel?” The old friend has nothing to lose.  Even if she makes a fool of herself, she’s got the next flight out of O’Hare.

This weekend I found myself in the ideal wingpeople situation. One of my closest friends from college was in town—one who’s super interested in my search and eager to help me find someone to add to her ranks. And of course Matt was around ‘cause, well, he’s my husband. We live together. So when Matt and I went to dinner with Jenny and her boyfriend, and I mentioned that our waitress seemed cool (“definite BFF material”) they may or may not have convinced me to leave her a note. With my digits. On our receipt. Not something I would’ve ever been bold enough to try had I been eating alone.

If any of you out there are on your own BFF search, I encourage you to employ a wingman. (And if you do or have, please—pretty please!—let me know how it goes.) It could be a friend or husband or sister or just about anyone who has your best interests at heart and isn’t too shy to take the plunge every now and then by, say, writing your note to the waitress because your handwriting is totally illegible. For example.

14 Comments

Filed under BFFs and Marriage, Everything I Know I Learned on TV, Pickup Lines

14 responses to ““Buy Her a Beer, That’s the Reason You’re Here…”

  1. My husband is a great wingman; although he thinks of himself as shy, he is much more fearless about one-to-one interaction than I am, and has nudged me forward many times, or even taken a leap for me. And my daughter looks set to follow in his footsteps: she’s not even six yet and she’s already helped get two friendships off the ground in our new town, and is busy working on two more!

    • Kids! I bet they are the best wingpeople… they can get away with saying anything, and it always comes off as endearing whereas if an adult said the same thing it would probably sound crazy or desperate. Love it…

  2. Ha. I never thought of a wingwoman/man as someone to help you find a friend but it totally makes sense!!

    I have a friend that is a great wingwoman in terms of dating. When we are out at a bar together, she is the person encouraging me to chat up the guy at the bar. Or she is the person who will make a lap around the bar to scope out eligible bachelors. Nothing usually ever comes of it, but it’s nice to have someone in my corner!

  3. Lisa Z

    Rachel – you left the waitress a note? That’s pretty funny/weird. I left a waiter my number when I was in my early 20s which resulted in a Great Story (“Benny the Waiter”) but that is it. My BFF was in attendance. We couldn’t be a match, no matter how cute he was, even then.

    I like bringing people together, maybe I am a wingwoman! Wing Woman.

  4. My sister visited me last spring and was an amazing wingwoman. First of all, we look alike and got a lot of attention for that. Also, we both are gregarious and have big laughs so people just felt comfortable to approach us. She was in town for a weekend and a guy gave me his phone number, and a woman who was just an acquaintance asked me to go out because she said I looked like so much fun.

  5. I have been told I was the best wing-(wo)man ever by a dear male friend of mine. He was interested in a woman he invited to a social occasion, and I knew he was interested but needed help talking with her, so I went right up to her, introduced myself, and pulled my male friend into the conversation. I proceeded to rave about how great he is and engaged them both in some lovely discussions that would expose his best parts, and eventually, I bowed out gracefully and left them to their own devices. They have now been dating for like 6 mos. Being a wing (wo)man is AWESOME! I am happy to have one or to be one anytime. Such a good feeling to bring people together. I hope the waitress calls! Back when I waited tables, I would have been flattered, myself.

  6. And here I’ve always thought of the ultimate wingman as Goose from Top Gun, but I love your new application of the term.

    Please do keep us updated on your waitress/would-be BFF. I’m impressed that you had the guts to leave her your number. Behold the power of the wingpeople!

  7. I need to get my husband to be a better wingman. He’s not so open to going out with new couples which is frustrating at times. He’s got a TON of friends and is not looking for more… I however, meet moms that I need him to give the once over and sometimes that means going out with the maybe-lame husband. Maybe I should push a little harder though because what you wrote definitely resonated with me!

    And yes, going out with other friends to meet friends… definitely works.

  8. silsila

    Maybe it’s because I’m from San Francisco, but when you leave your phone number for the waitress or any potential BFF, how do you make sure she doesn’t feel like she’s being hit on and that it’s definitely platonic?

    • I made very sure it was clear I was looking for platonic friendship by saying “I’m newish in town (moved around the corner with my husband). You seem cool and like we could be friends…”

      And I got an email from her! It actually works!

  9. I’ve found the best wing-people are the ones who let your mind wander towards possibilities and encourage you to seek them out, even if it means sitting alone while you go hit on a potential BFF.

  10. Eva

    I laughed out loud when I read your Wizard of Oz remark about “wingpeople.” Ha!!

  11. Laura

    “Haaaave you met Rachel?” I hear it in Barney Stinson voice. Classic opener—and bonus if they recognize the HIMYM reference, that’s a step to BFF-land.

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